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You may not think so, but having a will is one of the most important things you should have on your to-do list. You don’t want to leave your family and estate at the mercy of your state. It is worth the time to decide what you want – not the state.
When you have a will you get to decide how your estate is handled. Making these decisions now can save your family headache and prevent disagreements among family members.
Here are 5 reasons you need to draw up a will:
1. Think of your children
It is important to have a will if you have children that are minors. It is a hard decision, but you will want to designate a guardian for you children in the event of your death. You don’t want the courts to decide the fate of your kids.
2. Lower estate taxes
You want to lower any taxes on your estate as much as possible. The value of anything you gift to family or charity organizations does reduce the overall estate value used to determine any estate taxes due.
3. Choose who takes care of your estate
You will need to choose an executor of your will. The Executor ensures all your affairs are in order. The executor will pay off bills, send notices to your banks and financial organizations, and cancel credit cards, just to name a few of the executor’s duties.ds, and notifying your bank.
4. Shorten Probate
All estates have to go through some kind of probate process, even with a will in place. However, if you don’t have a will the process can be lengthy.
5. Donations and gifts
A will gives you the ability to donate to your favorite charities or gift friends and family some of your assets. This is a very personal way to let others know you thought of them.
Is a basic will good enough?
If you don’t have many assets and are under the age of fifty then a basic will should suffice. You may not even need an attorney for this type of will. If you have many valuable asset or any complex business issues, then you probably want to get the advice of an attorney.
A basic will still covers many of the reasons listed above, such as leaving your property to people you choose, naming your children’s guardian and identifying your executor.
Does a will cover it all?
There are some areas that a will doesn’t cover, so be aware of these.
Funeral directions- These cannot be covered in a will so make a written document with your wishes and let your family know about it now.
Shared Property/Insurance — a will won’t cover living trusts or money from life insurance (anything that already has a beneficiary.) If you share property with someone else, then this property is not included, either.
Estate Taxes- You can’t avoid taxes, but some trusts can reduce or postpone when taxes are due
Probate- Even with a will, there is still probate which can take 3-12 months to get through
Pets- While you can name someone to have your pets, you can’t actually leave money or property to an animal
Special Care- If you have someone in your life that you want to make sure is covered for long-term care you will have to get a special needs trust. Setting up this trust through an attorney can ensure that person has income without impacting any government benefits they are entitled to.
While every situation is different there is one thing we all have in common- the need for a will. Spend a little time now thinking about it and you can have some peace now.
We are all probably ready for spring and the warm weather and flowers blooming. Spring might also bring to mind Spring Cleaning. Some of us dread it, some of us love it. While it is great to get your home in shape, what about the rest of your life?
You may not think about people when mentioning spring cleaning. Spring is a time for change and blooming. If there are people in your life that are negative or holding you back, it may be time to sweep them out of your life for good. While this may sound harsh, do some soul searching. There might be that one person that you just don’t need to hang around with any longer.
When was the last time you cleaned up old pictures or posts on your social media accounts? Maybe you have photos that looked fun but now are embarrassing. Delete, delete! If you are in a different place in your life, let your new posts and pics reflect that. Get rid of pictures with people that are not in your life- who needs a reminder of that ex you dumped? Make a fresh start.
Music and Media
Have an Ipod or store a lot of music on your tablet or laptop? It is probably time to shake your selections up a little. Get rid of the songs that you always skip over or really don’t like that much. Make an effort to try something new and download some upbeat songs. Maybe clean up your playlists or make new ones. Get a new groove on while working out or something to keep you motivated at work.
You probably have a drawer or closet with gifts or old cards from your exes. Why keep this stuff? Even ticket stubs from fun events don’t need to clutter up your life. If you aren’t going to make a scrapbook, either take a photo with your phone or just trash it. Anything with a bad memory you need to dump, now! Even good memories stay in our minds, and we don’t always need to keep a physical reminder.
Now that you’ve done some spring cleaning in your life you will feel like a weight is gone. Maybe you have the energy now to tackle that spring cleaning around the house, too!
I am sure you are a frugal shopper and meal planner, and you already are smart about freezing certain food items. There are lots of foods that can be stored in the freezer, but here are some that might surprise you!
Nuts go bad quickly and if you are not going to use them right away, go ahead and freeze. You can freeze nuts in the shell or shelled. For walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, almonds or hazelnuts, just wrap them tightly with plastic wrap before putting in the freezer. The same goes for nut butters, too.
Freezing bacon is great, especially if you need to chop up for recipes since frozen bacon will be easy to cut. Place a few uncooked bacon slices flat on waxed paper and wrap up. Then put this into a freezer bag and you are all set!
Did you stock up on yogurt and now it is expiring? You can freeze yogurt, but you won’t want to eat it that way. Use the frozen yogurt to make a yummy dip. You can also use it in sauces.
If you love iced coffee, there is nothing better than adding some frozen coffee cubes to your drink! Just pour any leftover coffee you have into any sized ice cube trays and you can have a special treat later!
If you love cooking or baking with ginger, then freezing it can make your life easier. Leave the ginger whole and unpeeled, use plastic wrap around it, and then place in a freezer bag. When you want to use some, you just take the frozen piece of ginger out and scrape off what you need- no defrosting needed!
While cheese will not slice well after being frozen, it is still great to use in recipes. If you use a lot of shredded cheese for casseroles, just grate the cheese before you stick it in the freezer.
You can freeze garlic in whole heads, break apart, or even chopped up. The easiest way to freeze is to leave the garlic whole. Store in a freezer bag or container. You can easily take off a clove at a time. Garlic does have a different consistency after freezing, but should be fine for cooking.
If you are making or attending an Easter Brunch, but don’t want to make the same old thing, consider trying a new recipe. These recipes are tried and true, so you can’t go wrong.
Here are some great choices for you to consider:
I am always looking for cables to charge electronics in my house. This set of Zakix cables is great to have on hand. You get 3 three foot cables and 3 six foot cables, which is a great assortment.
People are hard on cables in my house, so I was pleased that these are really durable and strong. I have used them on my Android phone and tablet and they seem to charge faster.
These cables come in a nice package that you can use over and over since it seals back up. I found that the cables coil back up easily in order to store them more compactly, which is a great benefit.
If you want to see my complete review on Amazon, just follow this link.
City Gala 2016 – #CITYGALA
Have you heard about the City Gala event being held at the Playboy Mansion?
On February 15th, 2016, City Gala is hosting one of the best charity events this year. City Gala is an event created to advocate non-profit, charitable organizations. Community Inspiring Today’s Youth is the host foundation and its mission is to offer an organized business development program and ongoing technical support for under privileged young adults of Los Angeles.
The goal is to take them full circle from learning a marketable skill or service to the conclusion of the program. The desired end result being the creation of their very own, fully operational small business.
Special guest stars like Richard Branson, who is also the KeyNote speaker and will host a moderated discussion and present inspiring videos produced exclusively for the event. Sean “Diddy” Combs will be hosting this event.
Jane Seymour and Sir Richard Branson will be sharing moderator duties and will be discussing everything from philanthropy to the environment and the future of tomorrow. Special videos prepared by Branson and his Virgin Galactic team will be shown as well.
From The Heart is the financial recipient of the City Gala event and their mission is to subsidize films that are unique and make a contribution to society. These are films with gripping and powerful stories, told with passion that, without From The Heart’s help, may never get made.
The event is held on the same night as the Grammy Awards but they are not short of attracting some really great artists who have given their time and talents to the event. I’m thrilled to be able to hob knob with them and also support the kids.
The City Gala event will include special guest appearances, live performances, and live DJ sets by Paul Oakenfold, Jeff Timmons, Chanel West Coast, Stafford Brothers, and Dj Sarah Robertson. There is even a live fashion by Hemp Blue!
As if all that isn’t enough to make you want to buy tickets to this exclusive event they are also having a live auction, which will include:
The event will also be honoring some really special people with awesome awards. Buzz Aldrin, will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, and John Paul Dejoria, will be accepting the Legacy Of Inspiration Award. Pretty cool, huh?
Each year City Gala produces this event with the intention of allowing its donors the ability to network with industry leaders and learn about CITY’s programs. With the excitement surrounded around the celebrities, music artists, industry leaders, and influential individuals that will attend the event the main goal for the event is benefaction, contribution, and service.
“We are honored to have such an incredible roster of distinguished guests joining us to raise visibility for these important charitable causes,” said City Gala executive producer Ryan Long.
This black-tie, invitation only event will also have an open bar, open buffet, and a celebrity poker tournament…how can you not get excited about that?
Fun February Facts
We all know that February is the shortest month of the year. We also may celebrate Black History Month, President’s Day and of course, Valentine’s Day. There is a lot more to know about this compact month of February.
February has two astrology signs, Aquarius and Pisces. Water signs for all that melting ice and snow during this month, maybe? Amethyst is the birthstone, which is a deep purple. This is also a kind of cool and icy color, going along with the wintery theme.
Primrose and Viola are the flowers of the month for February. Violas again have that deep wintery purple, but they are accented by yellow and some brighter colors. Perhaps this represents a little peak at the Springtime that will be coming soon.
February is the only month that has four weeks with a full seven days (although this happens only once every six years!) October and February both end on the same day of the week- every single year. This month can sometimes pass without a single full moon, which next happens in 2018.
The Boy Scouts were incorporated in the month of February in 1910 and Queen Elizabeth of England was coronated in February of 1952. In Welsh, February is translated as ‘little month’.
The root of the word February comes from februare, which means to purify. It was considered unlucky, since the month was historically spent honoring the dead and rites of purification.
As an anagram, February can be “bury fear’ or ‘bare fury’, so angry or brave. We normally think of February as the month of love, which seems a lot more positive and fun!
While February is the shortest month of the year, it is jam packed with holidays and special treats. The next time someone tells you February is just about Valentine’s Day, you can tell them some of these interesting, but sometimes obscure facts.
Most of us are familiar with allergies, since they have become so common. Even if we don’t have food or other allergies, we usually know of someone that does. Many adults and children have these allergies, but did you know that even adults that never have had any allergies can develop them later in life? In fact, this onset of adult allergies is increasing all the time.
Adult allergies mostly will begin in your twenties and thirties, but they actually can start at any time. Sometimes there will be an obvious trigger, but oftentimes it comes out of nowhere. There can be a link between infection, illness and stress contributing to adult onset allergies.
One of the biggest reasons for new allergies is moving to a new place or environment. If you lived most of your life in one place and then move to a new locale with different allergens, allergies can begin that you did not even know you had. Maybe you never had a pet and now there is an animal in the household. You may quickly discover that you are highly allergic to pet dander.
There are blood tests available to check for the antibody Immunoglobulin E, or IgE. This antibody fights off infection, but can sometimes identify normal things as being harmful. This reaction release histamines which can cause inflammation (sometimes severe.) Other reactions to histamine can include itching, coughing, and vomiting.
Food allergies may or not be obvious. If you have any strange reaction after eating certain foods, make sure to write it down. Keep track of what you are eating and if you notice a similarity try eliminating certain foods and see if that makes a difference.
One thing to notice about food allergies is that you may not be hungry or feel very fatigued after every meal. You can also get an upset stomach after eating. In adults, these symptoms are often overlooked or misdiagnosed. If you never had allergies, why would you think of that?
The best thing you can do is to pay attention to any allergy-like symptoms you experience and if they persist, definitely see your doctor.